Showing posts with label Cleo Coyle's Colonial Cranberries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cleo Coyle's Colonial Cranberries. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3 Cleo Coyle Holiday Recipes and a Book Pub Party!

What do you most look forward to tasting every holiday season? Pumpkin pie? Gingerbread? Sugar cookies? Candy canes? Rum balls? Stollen? Panettone? Latkes?

Leave your answer in the comments section of this post and help me kick of the holiday cooking (and eating) season!

Congrats to Melissa who left a comment on Tuesday and won this adorable Gimme Coffee Latte Cup! Follow this blog for more chances to win throughout November as I continue to celebrate the release of my light, Capra-esque Coffeehouse Mystery: Holiday Grind.)

Cleo Coyle, author of the
Coffeehouse Mysteries,
celebrates the release of
Holiday Grind in paperback
(What can I say? Like most of
the country, we're on a budget!)
So what's my favorite holiday food?

When I was a little girl, my Italian-born aunt taught me (just as her aunt taught her) how to fry up crispy-sweet bowtie cookies and dust them with powdered sugar. Aunt Mary is gone now and I deeply miss her, but whenever I cook and bake the foods we prepared together, it always brings her back to me.

This Proustian idea of foodie memories is exactly what inspired the culinary theme in Holiday Grind. At the start of the book, Clare Cosi (my series' amateur sleuth) holds a latte tasting with her coffeehouse staff, asking them to share their most powerful holiday flavor memories.

Clare uses their answers to create a menu of Fa-la-la-la-lattes (yes, a bit twee-sounding, but effective). The coffee drinks bring remembrances of holidays past to her customers. They become so popular they actually save her shop from the ravages of the tanked economy.

Even better, this winning idea came from Santa himself, a genuinely jolly stand-up comic named Alfred Glockner who collects for charity near Clare’s coffeehouse.

Clare's grown very fond of Alf, and when she finds him cruelly gunned down in an alley one snowy December night, she’s more than devastated. She’s angry, especially when the police claim Alf’s killer was no more than a random mugger.

Clare believes otherwise and sets out to find the truth. During this nearly impossible quest, she butts head with a street-hardened NYPD sergeant (who’s more interested in Clare than her theories); gets herself arrested; disguises herself as Santa’s little helper; and endures more than one attempt on her life.

In the end, she manages to reclaim her holiday spirit, something Alf, with his humor and generosity, embodied from the start.

"Fun and Gripping"
~ The Huffington Post

 "Some of the most vibrant
characters I've ever read.
Coyle also is a master of
misdirection...I challenge any
reader to figure out
whodunit before
Coyle reveals all."
Mystery Scene

 Thanks to my awesome readers, Holiday Grind became a Top-10 national mystery bestseller in hardcover last year. With its release in paperback this month, I hope even more readers will be able to enjoy the story—and the bonus recipes.

As a special gift to the many CM readers who tell me how much they enjoy my recipes and tips, I made Holiday Grind's recipe section extra large with holiday cookie and candy recipes, a glossary of coffeehouse terms, and instructions on making your own coffeehouse drinks (including lattes and cappuccinos) without an expensive machine. I even included recipes for flavored syrups like chocolate, caramel, gingersnap, apple cider spice, raspberry, and more.

As for today's recipes, see the links below. More to come in my future posts--including my darling Aunt Mary's bowtie cookies. :)
Publishers Weekly 

“Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries (Espresso Shot, etc.) are packed with believable characters and topped with serious coffee lore and holiday recipes. This one will keep your cup piping hot.”

“...a good plot and an in-your-face look at life in the Big Apple for good measure. Fans of culinary cozies will want this.”
Library Journal

“Fast-paced action [and a]
well-crafted story…sure to delight!”
—Fresh Fiction

To read Lesa Holstine's Sunday Salon
Review at Lesa's Book Critiques,
click here

From Cleo’s
Recipe File:

Every holiday season, I look forward to tasting so many delicious flavors. Among my favorites are cranberries, eggnog, and English Stilton cheese. All three served as inspirations for the recipes below. Just hit the hot links to get my recipes in a PDF format that you can print, save, or share...

Click here for
Cleo’s Colonial Cranberries,
based on a dish mentioned in
John Adams' journal.


Click here for
Cleo’s Eggnog
Latte Cookies

with easy
Eggnog Glaze

Click here for Cleo’s Holiday Sprouts with Blue Cheese. (I use English Stilton in this one, which is traditionally served at Christmastime, but any blue will do!)

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes,
learn more about my books,
or sign up to win free coffee,
visit me at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

Cookie Contest!

Krista Davis is celebrating the upcoming release
of her new holiday mystery, The Diva Cooks a Goose. 
She's holding a delicious contest. Send Krista your favorite cookie recipe
at and you might win!
Find out more by
clicking here

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Colonial Cranberries

This post was named a #1 Foodbuzz Top 9 Pick. Thank you Foodbuzz!
~Cleo Coyle

Cleo Coyle’s
Colonial Cranberries

When I found out our secret ingredient this week was cranberries, I had wanted to do a “Mock Cherry” pie for you. This very old American dish, in which a cook substitutes cranberries for cherries, has been around for years. I will be doing a mock cherry pie in the near future, but this week I simply did not have the time. Then I realized who does have the time?! So I changed up the idea and decided to do something unique but extremely simple, something you can create in a flash.

I have enjoyed making this cranberry dish almost every holiday season, whenever those scarlet berries are available fresh in our local grocery. The inspiration for my “Colonial Cranberries” actually came from Jeff Smith, whose research dug up a note in John Adams’ 18th century journals in which he spoke about enjoying a dinner that included wild goose on a spit and cranberries in a cast iron skillet baked in a “slack” oven.

Cleo's Colonial

My version uses a much handier casserole dish. My sugar choice is light brown for added depth of flavor. Oranges were not so easy to come by in 18th century Massachusetts, but I think adding orange zest brings a lively bright note to this dish. Orange and cranberry is a fairly common combo in recipes , but I especially like it because professionals in the coffee trade have taught me to look for citrus notes in some of the very best coffees of the world (Ethiopian Yirgacheffee and La Esmeralda Especial for instance), and I think it works in this dish, too.

Cleo's Colonial Cranberries

We’ve enjoyed this sweet-tart sauce warm over ice cream, pound cake a la mode (as you see pictured below), on pancakes in place of syrup, on French toast, as a kind of loose jam on raisin bread (one of my favorite ways to eat it), and as a chutney with spicy Indian meat dishes. The flavor may not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of raspberry flavor and tart berry jams and jellies, this just might be up your foodie alley… We know Mr. Adams certainly enjoyed it!

Cleo's Colonial Cranberries
Serving suggestion:
ver pound cake a la mode...

To download this recipe in a PDF format that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle's
Colonial Cranberries Recipe

Recipe: Place in a medium casserole dish 2 cups cranberries (sliced in two), 1 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed), ½ teaspoon orange zest (grated rind of an orange, no white pith).
Stir together well. Cover. Bake 1 hour in an oven pre-heated to 250° Fahrenheit. After baking, remove from oven, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. You’ll notice some of the sugar will have collected on the bottom. A good stir will fix this and nicely incorporate the final vanilla flavoring. Eat with joy.

Serving ideas: Pour over ice cream, pound cake, French toast, pancakes, apple pie a la mode. Use like a loose jam on a slice of raisin bread, croissants, or slices of toasted French or Italian bread. Serve as a sweet chutney with spicy Indian meat dishes.

Flavoring options: Replace the vanilla with 2 teaspoons almond extract OR 1-2 tablespoons of Amaretto or 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite brandy.

CLEO'S TIPS: On the casserole dish: I spray mine lightly with nonstick cooking spray to prevent the sugar from sticking. On the cranberries: Be sure to slice the cranberries in two. This may take a few minutes, but you need to do this to expose more of the berry to the sugar and the process of carmelization. On the cooking: Don’t try to rush the process. Keep the oven temp low and do the full hour of baking to give the flavors time to develop.

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle
author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries

"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."

National Hardcover
Mystery Bestseller

National Bestseller

Now in paperback.

or on book covers to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.

"Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle, a new addition to the coffeehouse mystery series…adds in jolts of souped-up coffee, sweet cooking…and super sleuthing to deliver a fun and gripping fa-la-la-la latte surprise."

~ The Huffington Post

Let's look at that
one more time...


Text and photos in this post are copyright (c) 2009 by Alice Alfonsi who writes The Coffeehouse Mysteries as Cleo Coyle with her husband, Marc Cerasini

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.